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Wisdom in a “Childish Thing”


I finally found the time to read No Enemy, But Peace:

…the true story of Sergeant Marco Martinez, a former gang-banger who found his true calling as a rifleman in the Marines. When his best friend and squad leader is injured during his first firefight, Sgt. Martinez rallies his embattled squad while single-handedly taking down a bunker full of jihadists. Written by Sgt. Richard C. Meyer, who served in the same unit as Sgt. Martinez and was present during the battle, this is the first comic produced by Iraq War veterans about the war itself.

It is a comic, but not a childish thing. An illustrated story has more compactness than a moving-picture story, and more impact than prose alone. The comic format is well-suited to tales of heroes. Even the “ordinary” ones we seldom hear of.

In the last panel, Sgt. Meyer expresses disappointment over whose tales are told these days:

Before bitterness set in, I realized something very simple. The news is not what happened…it’s what happened that went wrong. Selfless bravery, indomitable courage and the willingness to risk one’s life for his fellow man—none of those things are news.

I realized that the news doesn’t matter. It’s not the real world. It’s not even a reflection of the real world.